Shops adopt ‘rationing’ policy to festive music
IT CAN be unbearable… Stop the Cavalry, Jingle Bells and Lonely This Christmas played day after day for weeks in the build-up to the festive season.
But Ashford stores and shopping centres are sparing customers the ordeal by slowly building up the proportion of piped Christmas music in November and December.
Wilkinson in the town centre says that only a small percentage of festive music is played at first, gradually increasing towards Christmas.
The percentage of its Christmas music played is 20 per cent from November 7, 33 per cent from December 1 and up to 50 per cent from December 5.
A Wilkinson spokesman added: “It goes up to its highest, at 75 per cent, from December 14 and stays at that rate until Christmas.”
County Square Shopping Centre in Ashford has a similar policy. Commercial manager Fran Burt explained: “The music is phased in over the period by percentage. There is nothing worse than going to a shop in September and listening to Christmas music. Besides, at our busiest time at Christmas the customers would hardly hear the music piped in with all the entertainment going on.”
The issue was raised by customer Ruvini Hewa, of Park Farm, in response to an item in the Kentish Express about Wilkinson playing piped Christ- mas music in its Ashford store early in November.
She praised Wilkinson and other stores for sparing customers the overkill this year, adding: “By mid-November last year I was at the point where my head wanted to explode if I heard Boney M’s Mary’s Boy Child one more time.
“This year shops in the town all seem to have come to a gentlemen’s agreement not to ram Christmas music down our ears.
She explained: “Playing Christmas songs in stores before the festive time devalues the religious occasion. Not only does it put undue pressure on families with young children, but also it cuts down on the feeling of excitement and anticipation when it is played often and too soon.”
What do you think? Write to Kentish Express, 34-36 North Street, Ashford, Kent TN24 8JR or email kentishexpress@t hekmgroup.co.uk
Wilkinson: Slow build-up
Fran Burt: Music ‘phased in’